Monday, August 22, 2011

La Dolce Cucina

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208 Duecento Otto has been going strong for over a year and it has created a winning recipe for its solid Italian food and classy atmosphere that's neither too stuffy nor too casual. Drinks in the ground floor patio area are a good way to start off the evening's proceedings provided it isn't too hot. A round of drinks help to cool off and to tempt the taste buds a salumi board featuring thinly sliced parma ham, salami, and mortadella with pistachio accompanied with olives and chopped cherry tomatoes.

We then proceeded upstairs to the more formal dining room, the walls adorned with blue and white Chinoiserie tiling. At the top of the stairs is the pizza oven that was brought in from Naples, complete with firewood from the Italian city.
Since pizzas are a favourite here, we had to try the D.O.C. pizza, smothered in mozzarella and then topped with cherry tomatoes and basil -- a different interpretation of pizzas where the tomato sauce is usually on the bottom. The pizza was suitably cheesy and the crust was light and chewy.

We also had a small plate of fresh buffalo mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar and slices of heirloom tomatoes underneath.

For mains, we had the dry rubbed ribeye done medium rare. It was presented on a wooden cutting board with three slices and then a big chunk left over which was a bit strange -- why not slice it all up? It was practically upstaged by a bunch of Prosecco potatoes that seemed loosely broken by hand, roasted and seasoned with fresh garlic and anchovy aioli.

It came with a large bowl of arugula salad lightly dressed with small slices parmesan cheese and balsamic vinaigrette.

If that wasn't enough food, we had to try some desserts. The Venchi chocolate pudding is the molten chocolate cake served in a ramekin and comes with a small portion of rhubarb compte and vanilla ice cream that is totally decadent and hits the spot.

For a slightly lighter finish, there's a selection of homemade gelato and sorbet to sample. The pistachio flavour is fantastic with a slightly creamy flavour, while the lemon sorbet has a nice tartness to round off a big meal.

And if you need that extra umpf for digestion, have a glass of grappa or limoncello to help you process the meal in a very Italian way.

208 Duecento Otto
208 Hollywood Road
Hong Kong
2549 0208

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